A silver mark 925 is the identification marking used to indicate an item is at least 92.5 percent silver. It is the most common silver marking and also identifies the piece as sterling, since all sterling silver must be at least 92.5 per percent silver.
Silver is a precious metal that is used to make jewelry, plates, decorative items and much more. Due to the soft characteristic of pure silver, it is typically found in alloy form and mixed with other metals to increase its strength.
Silversmiths put marks on silver products that indicate how much pure silver the alloy contains. Some markings are numbers and others are words. Britannia silver has a 950 marking or the word "Britannia," indicating it is 95 percent pure. Silver used in coins is not considered sterling and is marked "coin," "standard" or 900, indicating a 90 percent pure silver composition.
Continental silver, also called European silver, can be 80, 82.5, 83 or 85 percent silver. The markings found on this alloy are 800, 825, 830 and 850, respectively. Like coin silver, the silver content falls below 92.5 percent and is not considered sterling.
Silver plating is a thin coating of silver over an item. Silverplated items are less expensive than silver alloys.